“… Most of us are well aware that the future will be VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous). But it’s easy to make that same assessment from the point of view of the optimist. I see the future as being vibrant, unreal, crazy, and astounding. When I think about the possibilities of the future, it raises my heart rate with excitement.”
“RT @jcoplien: I find that weeks of coding and testing can save me hours of planning.”
” … Today it is hard to take a walk through our economy and not meet a friendly Uncle Sam; he is everywhere. He’s buying long-term bonds and thereby keeping long-term interest rates artificially low. Since he took over the defunct (for all practical purposes) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he is the U.S. mortgage market, because those organizations account for the bulk of mortgages originated. Of course, he is also on the hook for their losses.
Our dear Uncle Sam rolls in style; he doesn’t know how to bail out or stimulate on the cheap. U.S. government debt (at least, the debt that is on the balance sheet) leapt from about 60 percent of GDP before the Great Recession to more than 100 percent in 2010. The party of overleveraged consumers has been crashed by an overleveraged government. …
“One of the biggest (and hardest) financial lessons that many people have to learn is simply this: No one cares about your finances, except you.
… Financial providers are always claiming to care about your finances. They claim to care whether you can retire. They care that you have the right insurance products. They care that you have too much debt. Seriously? Nope. They only care as far as your situation benefits them. If you don’t have insurance, they can sell you some. If you have a fat retirement account, that’s more fees for them. Do they really care about your finances and whether you are really well off? Hardly. No one at XYZ bank is losing sleep over your finances or spending hours thinking of how they can help you. …
It’s okay to seek help from others and to get advice. But don’t confuse their advice or input with caring or acting in your best interests. It’s up to you to learn all you can and to act in ways that get you where you want to go financially. It’s up to you to save, reduce debt, invest wisely, and get the right insurance. No one else is going to take responsibility for you, take care of you, or pick up the slack for you. Why? Because nobody else cares. The truth is that you are the only one who cares about your financial picture and you’d better start caring deeply because no one else is going to.”
“As the economy sours and investments in stocks, bonds and real estate skid, unusual investments can often net a financial windfall. But do you know which ones are the best bets and how to make money from them?
Unusual investments can often net a financial windfall. Read our list of the top unusual investments that are popular today.”
“We asked Ken Pelletier what product development strategies he’s implemented as Groupon has grown. He replied that Groupon started out, from the very beginning, doing “really short iterations of work.”
The company first looks to get “the simplest thing that could possibly work out into the hands of our customers.” Then they gather feedback and do short iterations.
“From the very beginning, going all the way back to ’07,” Pelletier told us, “we’ve delivered [iterations of] products every single week. Even now as a product team – much, much bigger than it was when we started – we continue to use that philosophy.”"
“My co-founder and I recently launched a new web venture, and we’re running out of money. We are trying to raise about $250K, but we don’t have any friends or family who can afford to invest – and we don’t know any angel investors. Can you give us some advice as to what we can do to raise money?”
“Welcome to Nordstrom
We’re glad to have you with our Company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service. Set both your personal and professional goals high. We have great confidence in your ability to achieve them.
Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.
Please feel free to ask your department manager, store manager, or division general manager any question at any time.”
“One of the typical challenges that leaders have when they take on a bigger job is figuring out what they need to let go of and what they need to pick up in terms of where they spend their time and attention. There’s a simple question I like to ask executives to consider as they sort this out – What is it that only I can do?
When I’m coaching people through this question, I’m quick to point out what the question isn’t about. It’s not about personal indispensability. As the founder of modern France, Charles deGaulle said, “The cemeteries are full of indispensable men.” Yeah, as special and wonderful as each of us are in our own unique ways, none of us are indispensable. If we get hit by a bus, it’s likely that the bus is carrying someone who can step into our role.
But, for now, you are the only person filling your role. So, it’s important to ask that simple question in a slightly different way – What is it, given the role that I’m in and all of the unique resources and opportunities that come with it, that only I can do?”
“Preparing for its highly anticipated public offering next month, General Motors said on Thursday that it would repurchase $2.1 billion in preferred stock held by the federal government, contribute at least $6 billion to its pension plans and pay down debt to a health care fund for union retirees.
G.M. said it had also completed negotiations with banks on a $5 billion revolving credit line that would be a backup source of liquidity.
After the stock buyback, G.M. will have repaid $9.5 billion of the $49.5 billion that it received from the government in connection with the automaker’s bankruptcy protection last year ….”
“Quantitative easing in the US is obviously pushing a lot of cash around the world, but that’s not the only story here.
See, emerging markets have always held allure for risk-hungry investors eager for growth. But the mood is really changing, and in addition to the growth of emerging markets, there seems to be a brewing sentiment that risk is lower in emerging markets.
Because most EM sovereigns aren’t loaded with debt up to the wazoo, and because the debt in the west is the #1 systemic fear, there’s a certain you-can-have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too mentality to emerging market investments.
Of course, this risk-free-reward never lasts, and in fact the place where investors are chasing for yield, is usually the scene of the next crime, or the next blowup. And when that does happen, a lot of investors are going to feel like idiots, not unlike the investors who thought it was a great idea to lend money to homeowners with no jobs.”
is really a
than you think.
If you can tune in
to your mission –
or what some people
“your life’s work”,
is like breathing.
a natural expression
of your innate
desire to serve.
Here’s the deal:
You’re not here
to make money.
to make a difference.”
You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes. — Winnie-the-Pooh (A. A. Milne)
“You need to hustle, put yourself out there, make the first move. Success with your goals requires you to go on the offensive. Just because you do great work doesn’t mean people will notice . You can’t just hope your boss and colleagues will give you credit for your contribution. You can’t just expect people will buy your product or service without promoting it. You can’t just wait for people to notice your gifts. You have to go to them sometimes.’
“Obviously, Microsoft is not a startup. Nor have they been a startup for a long time. But what if you thought of their Online Division as an Internet startup? One funded by Microsoft. The thought it terrifying. Or it should be. To Microsoft.
Microsoft released their Q1 2011 earnings today. The results were very good except for one very big blemish: the Online Division. Last quarter, the division lost $560 million for Microsoft. That’s better than the previous quarter when it lost a staggering $696 million, but it’s much worse than a year ago, when it lost $477 million. In the past year, Microsoft has lost well over $2 billion from the division.”
Let me repeat that: 1 year, a $2 billion loss.
“The U.S. government needs to consider selling assets to boost the economy and reduce the deficit, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim said today. “Most aggressive monetary and fiscal policies are not enough” …. Slim, ranked the world’s richest man by Forbes magazine, controls Telefonos de Mexico SAB, the nation’s largest landline phone company, and is an investor in the New York Times Co. The global financial crisis is a sign that governments must rein in debt, Slim said.”
“There are a lot of “falsisms” being bandied about in startup land these days. And one that really bothers me is the idea that returns on startup investing are “bimodal.”
For those who don’t speak geek, bimodal means there are one of two possible outcomes. And in this case, those two outcomes are a total bust or a huge, Google-style win. … But startup returns are not bimodal. … Here is the distribution of current returns in our 2004 fund. To be confidential, I am not listing company names and have “fudged” the top returning deal number so nobody plays a guessing game with that one.”
1. How long is it until you need the money?
2. What is your risk tolerance?
3. What do you plan to do with the money?
4. Do you have a basic understanding of the investment?
5. What are the fees associated with this investment?
“Today’s average worker will have a dozen employers and work at each job for less than four years. Your career is now your responsibility, and so is your retirement plan.
Instead of a defined benefit program, most companies have defined contribution programs such as a 401(k) or a 403(b). In these you reap what you sow and the growth is subject to the weather of the markets. Nothing is defined. …
Some 403(b) plans and many 401(k) plans offer an employer match. Formulas vary, but the most common is to match the first 3% of your salary that you contribute at 100% and the next 2% of your salary at 50%. So if you put 5% of your salary into the company’s plan, your employer will give you an additional 4% of your salary.
This is easily the fastest 80% return on your money. No one should pass up an employer match.
“If we develop the technology should we also create the need for it? Or is it necessary to first find an unfulfilled need and develop a solution. In short, if we build it, will they come?”
Report: Suit alleges Toyota pushed owners to stay quiet about unintended acceleration
“According to various news sources, the Japanese automaker is now facing accusations that it clandestinely sought to buy back vehicles with unintended acceleration issues in order to hide the problem from the public. Part of the alleged buy-back deal involved having owners sign a confidentiality statement that forbade them from talking to anyone – including regulators. In addition, those who took part in the program could not sue Toyota later down the line.”
“According to a survey conducted earlier this year by Kelton Research, today’s employees are feeling under-empowered, underappreciated, demotivated, and overworked. In the six months prior to the survey:
* 68 percent had not received any useful feedback from their supervisors
* 82 percent had not established career goals with their supervisors
* 53 percent did not understand how their role contributed to company objectives
* 25 percent were given new job responsibilities outside of their primary skill sets
This does not sound like a motivated and contented workforce!”